As the days grow colder and winter winds begin to blow, we Meadow ponies spend many hours nibbling at delicious dried Autumn leaves and talking to each other about life on the Meadow. Little Monty Malone always asks me lots of questions because he wants to know the answer to everything!

“Excuse me, Ryan O’Brien” he said today, “Why are you getting so many white hairs on your face? Is there something wrong with you?

I didn’t know the answer to this question so we went to see Tuxedo Junction. He is the Oldest and Wisest Horse of All. He would know the answer to Monty’s question. We found Tuxedo Junction having a rest behind a Black Wattle tree.

“Excuse me, Tuxedo Junction,” I said. “Can you tell me why I am getting so many white hairs on my face? Am I turning into a white horse like Pippy? Is there something wrong with me?”

Tuxedo Junction smiled and shook his head. “There is absolutely nothing wrong with you, Ryan O’Brien!” he said. “You are just growing old and so, old age is starting to decorate your face with beautiful white hair!”

“What else happens when you grow old, Tuxedo Junction?” we asked.

“Well, little Ryan O’Brien and Monty Malone” he said, “Many things happen when you grow old. Some things are hard and other things are wonderful!”

“What is a hard thing?” little Monty asked.

Tuxedo laughed and said “The hardest thing is getting up off the ground after having a nice sleep! My bones are a creaky and sore sometimes.

But there are also many wonderful things!  The best thing is having so many horse and human friends. They love me very much. Every week my good friend Margaret visits me and gives me treats of little pieces of apple. She pats me and blows me kisses. She is also getting old and can’t bend over easily so she asks Sally and her little boy, Jacob, to help look after me. Sally and Jacob brush me and wash me, clean out my feet with a hoof-pick and put special blue ointment on my heals because they get cracked and sore sometimes.”

“ What is the difference between being young and being old, Tuxedo Junction?” Monty Malone asked

Tuxedo Junction snorted!

“When you are young you are just like little ducklings. You follow along and ask lots of questions. But when you are old and wise you become the leader and you come to realise that you know all the answers. Well, almost all the answers!!!”

“Is there anything sad about growing old, Tuxedo Junction?” I asked.

“The only sad thing about growing old, Ryan O’Brien, is if there is no one to ask you questions,” he said.

I laughed and said, “You will never be sad then, Tuxedo Junction, because all the Meadow horses and ponies will always have so many questions to ask!”

Monty wanted to ask him more questions but Tuxedo said that he was feeling very lively that afternoon and wanted to stretch his legs!

“Good bye, Tuxedo Junction,” we said as we watched him  trot off across the Meadow, all the while thinking about white hairs and how wonderful it was to have a wise old horse like Tuxedo Junction living with us on the Meadow.

Do you know someone old and wise who knows all the answers?

Ryan O’Brien.